The REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report

The REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report, which provides an overview about the latest developments on the renewable energy transition through the end of 2017, was recently published on 7th June 2018.

The global energy transition is the most dynamic in the renewable power sector. Investment keeps increasing, costs are falling and innovative business models are triggering further growth. Thanks to the policy changes in the recent years and advances in technologies, the cost of renewable electricity has rapidly decreased. Besides the power sector, there are still sectors that need to make further progress. Without the transformation of heating and cooling and transport sectors, which together account for about 80% of global total final energy demand, the emission reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved. In addition to this, the progress differs in the sectors and between the different geographical regions, which decelerates the overall energy transition.

Some highlights of the report:

  • The year of 2017 experienced the largest increase in renewable power capacity, 178 GW of renewable power was added globally (70% of the net additions).
  • The newly installed solar photovoltaic capacity also reached new heights: compared to 2016 solar PV additions were up to 29% (98 GW). Wind power contributed to the uptake by 52 GW.
  • More than two-third of investments in power generation were renewables due to their increased cost-competitiveness.
  • The United States, Europe and China accounted for nearly 75% of the global investment in renewable power and fuels, measured in unit of gross domestic product, while the Marshall Islands, Guinea-Bissau and the Solomon Islands invested the most in renewables.
  • CO2 emissions that are energy-related rose by 1.4% in 2017.
  • Due to economic and population growth, energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017.
  • The uptake in heating and cooling was small. National targets only exist in 48 countries around the world.
  • The transport sector has a potential to increase the renewable energyuptake by electrification; however 92% of the demand is still met by oil.

The energy transition is on its way, but the progress is slower than it was expected before. According to Mr. Arthouros Zervos, REN21 Chair, governments should take the political leadership by ending subsidies, investing in infrastructure and establishing hard targets for sectors that are lagging behind.   

The highlights of the REN21 report can be found under the following link: http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/180603_GSR_2018_Highlights_D_2.pdf

The full report can be found here: http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/17-8652_GSR2018_FullReport_web_-1.pdf

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